New Book | Material Goods, Moving Hands

Posted in books by Editor on September 8, 2014

From Manchester University Press:

Kate Smith, Material Goods, Moving Hands: Perceiving Production in England, 1700–1830 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014), 208 pages, ISBN: 978-0719090677, £70 / $105.

Material Goods front cover copyIn eighteenth-century Britain, greater numbers of people entered the marketplace and bought objects in ever-greater quantities. As consumers rather than producers, how did their understandings of manufacturing processes and the material world change?

Material Goods, Moving Hands combines material culture and visual culture approaches to explore the different ways in which manufacturers and retailers presented production to consumers during the eighteenth century. It shows how new relationships with production processes encouraged consumers, retailers, designers, manufacturers and workers to develop conflicting understandings of production. Objects then were not just markers of fashion and taste, they acted as important conduits through which people living in Georgian Britain could examine and discuss their material world and the processes and knowledge that rendered it.

Kate Smith was a Research Fellow on The East India Company at Home, 1757–1857, a 3-year Leverhulme Trust-funded research project based in the Department of History at the University of Warwick (2011–12) and University College London (2012–14).
She is now Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century History at the
University of Birmingham.

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1. New ways of looking
2. Visual access to production
3. Listening in to the manufacturing world
4. Picturing production and embodying knowledge


New Book | Art, Artisans, and Apprentices

Posted in books by Editor on September 8, 2014

From Oxbow Books:

James Ayres, Art, Artisans, and Apprentices: Apprentice Painters and Sculptors in the Early Modern British Tradition (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2014), 536 pages, ISBN: 978-1782977421, £35.

9781782977421Before the foundation of academies of art in London in 1768 and Philadelphia in 1805, most individuals who were to emerge as artists trained in workshops of varying degrees of relevance. Easel painters began their careers apprenticed to carriage, house, sign, or ship painters, whilst a few were placed with those who made pictures. Sculptors emerged from a training as ornamental plasterers or carvers. Of the many other trades in a position to offer an appropriate background were ‘limning’, staining, engraving, surveying, chasing, and die-sinking. In addition, plumbers gained the right to use oil painting and, for plasterers, the application of distemper was an extension of their trade. Central to the theme of this book is the notion that, for those who were to become either painters or sculptors, a training in a trade met their practical needs. This ‘training’ was of an altogether different nature to an ‘education’ in an art school. In the past, prospective artists were offered, by means of apprenticeships, an empirical rather than a theoretical understanding of their ultimate vocation.

James Ayres provides a lively account of the inter-relationship between art and trade in the late 17th to early 19th centuries, in both Britain and North America. He demonstrates with numerous, illustrated examples, the many cross-overs in the ‘art and mystery’ of artistic training, and, to modern eyes, the sometimes incongruous relationships between the various trades that contributed to the blossoming of many artistic careers, including some of the most illustrious names of the ‘long 18th century’.

More information is available here»

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I. Crafts, Trades, Artisans, and Guilds
1. Art and mystery
2. The guilds and livery companies
3. Guild regulation and training
4. Indentured apprenticeships
5. The craft trades and the visual arts

II. Painters
6. The art of picture craft
7. The materials of painters
8. Painter stainers
9. The painters: mechanic and liberal
10. Easel painting
11. The trade of painting in oil: House and decorative painting, Sign painting and making, Coach painting, Marine painting
12. Size painting: Stained hangings, Stained transparencies, Scene painting for the theatre, The plasterers
13. Limning and watercolour painting

III. Sculptors, Carvers, and Related Trades
14. Sculpture
15. Modelling and casting in plaster: Modelling in clay, Casting in plaster
16. The pointing machine
17. Carving: Woodcarving, Stone and marble carving
18. Metalwork and related trades: The foundry, Chasers and chasing, Die-sinking and seal-cutting

IV. Academies of Art and the Foundations of Artistic Professions
19. The origin and function of academies of art
20. Conclusion

I. Indenture of 1788: Isaac Dell
II. Advertisement for a Stationer and Picture Dealer, c. 1750–1759
III. Samuel Wale (?–d. 1786) as sign painter
IV. Charles Catton (1728–1798) ‘The Prince of Coach Painters’
V. John Baker RA (1736–1771), coach painter
VI. Luke (Marmaduke) Cradock (1660–1717) the ‘Ornamental Painter’
VII. Sign painting in Colonial and early Federal America
VIII. Prices of house painters’ work of 1799
IX. Stained hangings: early seventeenth and eighteenth century
X. A sampling of individual painters or sculptors who left the English Provinces for Apprenticeships in London, Westminster, or Southwark
XI. Some of the many woodcarvers who later worked in stone and marble
XII. The construction of an armature in John Flaxman’s studio
XIII. Prices in 1797 for ship-carving on Royal Navy vessels in relationship to tonnage
XIV. Price list for lead statuary
XV. Some members of the St Martin’s Lane Academy
XVI. Proposed accommodation and prospectus for the Royal Academy Schools
XVII. Part of Gustav Waagen’S (1794–1868) evidence before the Select Committee of the House of Commons in 1834, on the value of Academies of Art


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